WMU: Many recruits will compete all year

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

One thing's for sure: You don't want to challenge Western Michigan's football players in any sport.

Well, almost any.

The Broncos have 18 multisport athletes among the 27 recruits signed on National Signing Day on Wednesday, a testament to the type of athlete coach P.J. Fleck wants.

"I want kids who compete all year, who compete every season," said Fleck, who led Western Michigan to an 8-5 record and a spot in the Idaho Potato Bowl. "I want kids to play different sports and face different situations (in those sports).

"I want them playing hockey, baseball, running track. Whatever it is. I want them to compete."

For the second consecutive season, Fleck had the best recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference, according to Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

The Broncos signed 15 three-star recruits.

"I don't know who these services are that rate the classes, but they must do it for a reason," Fleck said. "I'll say we're very pleased with the players we added. We feel we hit a home run."

Along with being versatile athletes, the class included 12 players from Michigan, all within a six-hour drive from campus.

"That's the culture we want to build here," Fleck said. "We still have our ties to Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. But we want to get those kids (in the six-hour drive), where their families, teammates, friends all can follow and watch them and help build the program."

Among those signings are Detroit Mumford wide receiver DeShawn Foster, Detroit East Village running back/wide receiver Anton Curtis, Macomb Dakota defensive end Tony Ballabini, Southfield cornerback Davontae Ginwright and Grand Rapids South Christian quarterback Jon Wassink.

One name that will attract a lot of attention is Tom Flacco, a quarterback from Voorhees, New Jersey, and brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

WMU recruits

Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., High school

Eric Assoua, DE, 6-2, 230, St. Johns (Silver Springs, Md.)

Tony Balabani, DE, 6-3, 235, Macomb Dakota

Sam Beal, DB, 6-2, 195, Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills

LeVante Bellamy, WR, 5-11, 185 Indianapolis Pike

Anton Curtis, WR, 6-3, 185, East English Village

Paul Engram, LB, 6-1, 235, Detroit Loyola

Ken Finley Jr., DT, 6-3, 283, Muskegon

Tom Flacco, QB, 6-1, 185, Vorhees (N.J.) Eastern

Wesley French, OL, 6-5, 300, St. Joseph, Mich.

DavontaeGinwright, 6-3, 195, Southfield

KadeemGoulburne, WR, 6-4, 200, Cypress Bay, Weston, Fla.

Alex Grace, LB, 6-2, 200, Saginaw Swan Valley

Donte Horton, DE, 6-4, 205, Lakota West (West Chester, Ohio)

Luke Juriga, OL, 6-4, 270, Marmion (Aurora, Ill.)

John Keenoy, OL, 6-3, 285, East Kentwood

Giovanni Ricci, WR, 6-4, 200, Loveland (Ohio)

Daniel Jackson, DT, 6-3, 250, Plainfield (Ill.) East

Obbie Jackson, DB, 5-11, 180, West Bloomfield

Justin Spencer, DB, 5-10, 190, Oviedo (Fla.)

Carrington Thompson, WR, 6-3, 170, Northwood University

Justin Tranquill, DB, 5-11, 185, Carroll (Huntertown, Ind.)

Davon Tucker, RB, 5-10, 205, Sterling (Somerdale, N.J.)

Parker Underwood, TE, 6-4, 240, East Lansing

Jon Wassink, QB, 6-3, 195, Grand Rapids South Christian

Keishawn Watson, WR, 6-0, 185, Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.)